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New probe of self-help centre budgets hints at massive graft

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New probe of self-help centre budgets hints at massive graft

By THE NATION

 

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BUDGET allocations for self-help settlements in Udon Thani and Khon Kaen have shown irregularities after an investigation by the Public Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
 

The alleged graft may be similar to that reported at various provincial protection centres for the destitute, which are also being investigated, PACC chief assistant Pol Lt-Colonel Wannop Somjintanakul said yesterday.

 

The number of beneficiaries in the new cases was fewer, but the budgets were much bigger than those for the provincial centres.

 

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security’s Department of Social Development and Welfare annually distributes funds to 59 poor communities, comprising 43 self-help settlements and 16 highland community development centres, with a budget of Bt300 million. 

 

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The department is also in charge of the 76 provincial protection centres for the destitute, 44 of which have shown signs of graft, while the remaining 32 are being probed ahead of a May 31 completion deadline.

 

A former director of a provincial protection centre, who asked not to be named, said some self-help settlements with fewer than 50,000 members had received millions of baht per year. 

 

High-ranking officials such as director-generals or permanent secretaries should be able to answer why such disproportional budgets were allocated to some, he said, suggesting that normally each self-help settlement had received from Bt500,000 to Bt1 million annually, but budgets had suspiciously increased to millions of baht.

 

He added that investigators should not just focus on “downstream” graft, but also on intermediaries and the origins of the money. 

 

Coordination between the department and provincial centres could have been behind budget allocations, he said.

 

Meanwhile, a team of PACC officials yesterday investigated alleged graft linked to Udon Thani’s Huai Luang Self-Help Settlement and collected testimonials from 20 Ban Noen Chaiporn (Moo 9) residents. The สจvillagers, who are over 60, participated in the settlement’s handicraft training project last May while another group of 20 attended it the previous year. 

 

They were told to pose for pictures holding Bt2,000 each, which was then returned to officials who claimed the money was for purchasing training materials. Some villagers were later given Bt300 each. 

 

PACC investigator Rakkla Sathansuk said there had been a misuse of funds because allowances were supposed to be distributed as cash to each entitled villager, but the settlement had instead provided vocational activities. He added that there were 2,500 potential victims from seven villages.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30340853

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-03-14

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Just keep digging, look a little harder and it will be found. All these ministries are probably under the same big umbrella at the top. Someone sitting in a lovely a/c office in Bangkok with a padded seat at all outside functions, a dress uniform with glitter and an army of people offering the deepest wai's.

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Is there anybody in this government's agencies and police that are not somehow involved

or connected to graft, embezzlement, theft or corruption in anyway shape or form seeing

the daily news of more and more rort and graft cases?.....

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A big problem is a lot of people don't have bank accounts so the paper trail ends with the guy that handles the cash.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

He added that investigators should not just focus on “downstream” graft, but also on intermediaries and the origins of the money. 

whole thing is tragi-comical under an umbrella of sadness; looks to be that Everywhere they look they find graft

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these officials know... ,thais have a fierce loyalty and huge spirit and a  ..''never complain attitude''..stealing from the them, has been like..''shooting fish in a barrel''....aboslutley disgusting...

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

each self-help

Taken as literally !

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1 hour ago, ezzra said:

Is there anybody in this government's agencies and police that are not somehow involved

or connected to graft, embezzlement, theft or corruption in anyway shape or form seeing

the daily news of more and more rort and graft cases?.....

Think you missed out the monkhood it that sentence !

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

self-help centre

Is that "help yourself"?

 

Bad, bad people!

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I'm sure the PM will step up and accept responsibility for the staggering levels of corruption which have occurred on his watch.

 

Just kidding.

 

While the pilfering seems to be occurring across many provinces, the levels in the South look to be quite massive.

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Too bad the NLA will spend time on more important matters like curbing the problem of stray pets than reviewing current laws to curb civil servant corruptions.  

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4 hours ago, Samui Bodoh said:

One has to wonder if the method of stealing in the case of the budgets for the destitute is actually a blueprint for industrialized theft across the bureaucracy. This case alone won't make that apparent, but if the same method is used in two ministries, then the chances of it being used in more go up exponentially.

 

I am used to some theft and/or embezzlement living in Thailand (or Asia for that matter), but the sheer scale of the theft that I can envision here is breath-taking. And it must be coordinated between low-level staff and the higher-ups.

 

Let us hope that this is the beginning of the end. A method has been identified and (hopefully) the investigations will continue. Kudos to the Nation for their stories and let us hope that all the newspapers will cover this story and the emerging stories that will come.

 

People that steal on the level and scale are truly scum. I am not a religious man, but I am willing to pray if it means that these "people" who steal from the needy are given the punishment that they deserve.

 

I told you before this is standard, as I seen it years ago in the travel business. Government allocates 1 million for old people to travel (don't ask me why the government does this). The guy in control then says to his subordinate here you have 900.000 get me an 1 million invoice. Subordinate does the same thing and so it goes on a few layers. In the end a low budget remains and the travel is not as nice as it should be but the people who are in control get their cut. Travel organisations have no chance not to agree as else they are cut out and are shunned and lose their business.

 

Its similar to what you see all over.. high budget let people sign for more then they receive or forge documents so it looks like they have received more. Now we see how wide spread it is and that people at local levels all benefit from this. To clean this up it means massive court cases and huge number of arrests.... They probably don't get everyone maybe higher players stay out but at least a signal is given. 

 

I prefer this over total inaction though of course a lot can be improved. Though you have to wonder why all the action now. If i know how it went then those in the corruption business should too. Maybe they are feeling pressure from the goverment to clean it up or maybe there are some good people in the anti corruption agency who now see its the right time to expose as much as possible. Before they were too afraid but now as its in the news they use this to expose as much as possible. 

 

Maybe you got a better explanation why this is snowballing and exposing more and more. 

 

We still have to see what comes of this but any action is better then no action.

 

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18 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

Too bad the NLA will spend time on more important matters like curbing the problem of stray pets than reviewing current laws to curb civil servant corruptions.  

Yea or in the past YL trying to get her brother back instead of cleaning this up... come on Eric don't make this political as it is not political at all and has been around for decades and not linked to the color of shirts.

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BANGKOK 22 August 2018 09:31
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